Letter sent by Kodak Australasia Limited managing director Thomas Baker to Kodak employee James Gault, 15 October 1913.

Mr Baker tells Mr Gault that he has taken on his suggestion for how to stop machinery at different parts of the factory for accident or other reasons, and advises that he will pay Mr Gault one (1) pound for his suggestion, which he notes is the first solution that the factory could implement.

The letter dates from 1913, just 5 years after Kodak had invested in the former Baker & Rouse factory and when a great deal of expansion and improvements were being made to the factory to increase capacity and productivity.

James Gault was originally a photographic artist who later worked in various positions with Kodak and its predecessor company Baker & Rouse, probably from about the late 19th century until about 1941, when he left to start a business with his son Robert who was an electrical engineer. Jame's Gault's wife also worked at Baker & Rouse.

Mr Gault was held in good regard by the company. In 1913 he was rewarded 1 pound for an innovation to stop machinery in the case of an accident, to make the factory safer. Mr Gault and his son were invited to a lunch with the managing director Edgar Rouse in December 1941, to wish them good luck in their new endeavour on behalf of the company directors. In 1928, along with 9 other senior staff, Mr Gault was left 300 pounds by Kodak managing director Thomas Baker after he died. Kodak workers of more than eight years service were all provided for in Mr Baker's will, with most staff receiving from 40 to 200 pounds. James Gault's many years of service and the esteem he was held in by Thomas Baker no doubt contributed to the generous legacy that he received.

Kodak manufactured and distributed a wide range of photographic products to Australasia, such as film, paper, chemicals, cameras and miscellaneous equipment. Its client base included amateur and professional photographers, as well as specialist medical and graphic art professionals who used photography, x-ray and other imaging techniques.

Physical Description

Letter on Kodak Australasia Limited letterhead, printed in black ink, typed in blue ink and signed by Thomas Baker.

More Information